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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Because its there - An Exclusive Debate

Or at least a debate about exclusive licenses for producers.

Now that Panini has bought Donruss they are in a position to produce cards right off the bat.

My comment is geared toward exclusives in general and why they are not so bad. We can debate whether Topps puts out crap high, which they do, or whether UD puts out too many crap low end sets, which they do, but the question I ask is: Does it matter?

I say no. Whether we have high end or not frankly doesn't matter to me. I know that Gellman only collects high end cards, great for him, but many collectors collect things simply because they are there. This comment also does not take into account the massive licensing fees that MLB charges that makes it a neccessity to produce 15 sets a year.

Obviously each producer has to make a low end set because it creates massive volume and defrays the cost of the lower print run cards. I'm sure that's why UD makes spectrum, x, timelines, legendary cuts, masterpieces, documentry, , heroes, wonderfalls, keen eddie, a minute with stan hooper, and greg the bunny.

Are any of those neccessary? Does anyone actually collect them because they are quality? I'm sure if people do collect them, its more because those sets are there rather than they are quality sets.

For years we got along just fine with Topps. In fact, Topps base sets didn't decline until the competition got hot. The 50's 60's and 70's were 70% good design and quality. The printing issues sucked sometimes, but the cards were good overall.

UD has become the sole producer of Hockey and the sets look ok. Topps would still be better because they are better at low end but it still doesn't matter. You either collect Hockey or you don't. Hockey has always been a very small card market (sorry Canada) and people still seem to collect even though UD is exclusive. ITG doesn't count.

But the BB card market is much bigger you say? It doesn't matter. Topps can fill the market. If you don't like Topps base, chrome, Finest, Allen and Ginter, Heritage, Triple Threads, Sterling, or many other that they make then you really aren't much of a collector now are you? I get it if you think that Threads is Crap and Sterling is crap, but what's not to like about base, chrome, or finest. If you don't like those, I can't imagine there is a ton you like about the above named UD products. I suppose you can't unring the bell when it comes to high end, but the high end either sells or not and Topps will have to adjust to the market or no. If not, the high end won't sell. You might like BB Equisite, SPX (total horse shit product), SPA (another pile of crap for the most part), but I am willing to give those up so we don't have so many sets to collect. There isn't any good that I can see that comes out of having 45 sets produced.

I think one of the best examples of this collecting or opening because its there theory is Donruss Football. The products are all the damn same and people buy Gridiron gear, Threads, Score, Rookies and Stars, and Certified Materials because they are there not because any one product adds anything. The products are basically the same and add nothing to collecting over the other. If there was only one of these products, the football collecting world would probably be better off not worse off.

Frankly, I would welcome fewer sets and thus less dilution. Very Rambling I know, not very organized, but I think I have made my point. You may not agree, but whatever.


--David said...

Actually, I do agree. I collect Indians cards. I don't care who makes the cards or how many or what they cost. Now, that does not mean I will drop $100 for one new card vs. $100 for a vintage that I want. But, if I acquire that $100 newer card via trade, then great. But the point is, I collect what I collect regardless.

Captain Canuck said...

as a set collector, and a Braves collector of the sets I don't go after... I agree that less is more. But what less? What would be chopped? The base sets that I can afford? With licensing fees so high... who knows what it would be like if the companies only put out 4-5 sets a year.

stusigpi said...

Less is more. The base set, if you will, will never be cut. There is too much volume to be had there and thus it will never be cut. Even if the base set produced a slight loss, the higher margin sets like chrome and finest pick up the slack.